A series of art workshops (and square meals) for street kids and their parents.
Homeschool is a project founded by Kaid Ashton, a Canadian photographer who likes to wheatpaste his works around cities all over the world. It was born in January 2011 when, as a token of appreciation to friendly Manila people who helped him paste one of his pictures, Kaid offered to return to their neighborhood the next day and teach their kids an art class. It all kind of snowballed from there. By 2013, Homeschool had held classes and served meals to over 2000 people in 3 different countries.
The driving force behind Homeschool is Kaid's way of life. He likes to explore. In the case of a city like Manila, exploring the streets involves engaging with people. So Homeschool isn't so much about art. It's about making the time to go for a walk—a purposeful walk—and giving something in return to the people who allow you to trespass their turf. One of the best things you can give to a stranger is your time. We've given lots of it. Fun times for the kids, family time for the parents, community time for the neighbors, and pizza time of course, for everyone.
These are simple art classes taught by Kaid, wherein children are given a short demo of the assignment (i.e. turn your name into a graffiti tag, paint your dreams on a t-shirt, make a moodboard collage of what you'd like your life to be), and then given the supplies to complete it. Parents are encouraged to get involved in the classes. They help their kids finish their artworks, as well as organise food distribution and clean-up.
An intensive 4-class workshop held for our EDSA South Super Highway kids, every other weekend. Taught by Soulstice, a breakdance crew from the Philippines.
Three Filipino teachers gave regular Sunday classes in Tondo to bolster the childrens’ knowledge in basic reading, math, English, health and ethics for kids. The classes were led by Jojo Guballa, a young teacher who was born and raised in Tondo. Held on Sundays (weather permitting) from July to December 2011.
A SMALL EXPERIMENT
Our first experiment was conducted for the Filipino novelist and popular TV journalist, Jessica Zafra. For her critique book, Manila Envelope: The Best of Young Filipino Novelists, Zafra's publisher asked us to come up with a concept for the book launch. So we held a contest for 2 sets of Homeschool kids. The idea was for them to draw their own superheroes. The winning drawing was printed on canvas bags commissioned for the book’s launching. The child whose drawings were chosen was paid royalties for her participation.
THE GRASSROOTS APPROACH
What started off as a productive way to spend a Sunday afternoon grew into a whole bunch of classes. A few local "teachers" joined the group, mostly wanting to set positive examples in neighborhoods similar to the ones they grew up in. Though Kaid moved away from Manila in 2012, he continues to teach Homeschool workshops wherever he travels. Once in a while, we bring him back to the Philippines for a couple of classes.
All of this has been done with private donations, Kaid's savings, OCD micro-grants and partners like BAFI or BBDO Guerrero.
Homeschool exists because of the kindness of strangers. The future of Homeschool could be you. If you'd like to teach Homeschool classes of your own, invite Kaid to teach in your city, or get involved in other ways, let us know.
FYI. One of our favourite kids, the naked one staring with unbelieving eyes at the huge pizza, wasn't naked because he didn't have any clothes. He was naked because he just liked it that way.